In KwaZulu-Natal sugar is like gold. Large-scale sugar production has always played an important role in KwaZulu-Natal’s history and the sugar industry is a significant part of South Africa’s economy given its agricultural and industrial investment and significance as a foreign exchange earner.
A R16-billion industry, it is a large employer with 85 000 direct jobs and an estimated 350 000 jobs indirectly attributable to sugar production. KwaZulu-Natal is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s sugar production, with 20 000 growers producing 1.68-million tons of sugar annually.
Standard Bank provides banking services and finance to the entire value chain of this vital industry, from input suppliers such as co-operatives and chemical companies to contractors and transporters, as well as specialist services and the growers and millers.
We consider all types of agricultural finance, from tailor-made long-term products for purchases of fixtures and property, mid-term asset finance as well as looking after short-term working capital needs for operational costs and seasonal expenses. Transactional banking, hire purchase, credit and fleet management are also vital for cane hauliers.
While many sectors in South Africa struggled in 2020 because of Covid-19 restrictions, agriculture enjoyed a strong year. According to Statistics South Africa the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector’s Q3 2020 seasonally adjusted and annualised growth rate was 18.5% and was valued at R79.4-billion.
While agriculture remains the biggest contributor to South Africa’s GDP, it is easy to forget its importance and the impact it has on our lives – producing crops that are crucial to our country’s growth.
That’s why Standard Bank is committed to providing farmers with a full banking suite. Agriculture is a specialised sector with more than 30 sub-industries, and a vast field of knowledge is required to understand each subsector and how each of these industries’ cycles are integrated.
With 35 in-field agents located in all provinces who are experts in those specific geographical areas, we are able to assist with cash flow and financial planning.
Standard Bank continues to prioritise providing a world-class service, knowledge and expertise. We believe that when a farmer wins, we all win.
Find out more at https://www.standardbank.co.za/agribusiness